Rebirthing Breathwork

Rebirthing Breathwork


Rebirthing Breathwork is a breathing process that works as a form of therapy to alleviate the client from feelings such as fear, sadness, and anger. It was first developed by Leonard Orr in the late 1960s. During his experiments with breathing techniques, he seemed to recall memories of when he was first born, and believed that by perfecting these breathing techniques, he could resolve any trauma that took place as an infant. Rebirthing Breathwork did not become a therapeutic technique until 1974, but since then over 10 million people around the world have learned it. It is now a popular therapy in many countries including the U.S. and has been proven to help people physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Goals of Rebirthing Breathwork

Rebirthing Breathwork works to expand the client’s awareness on physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual levels. It gives clients the experience of mastery and freedom of their lives. It brings forth the client’s unconscious emotions and beliefs as well as their relationships with themselves, their bodies, their loved ones, and their world. The breathing techniques involved work to resolve and integrate problems that the client could not resolve on his or her own previously by means of this awareness. It moves clients toward fulfilling their potentials and allowing for greater happiness.

When is Rebirthing Breathwork Used?

The results of several recent studies have shown Rebirthing Breathwork to be effective in depression and anxiety, the growth of individuals and relationships, brain function, and even prenatal problems. It has been shown to release physical, emotional, and psychological tension.

Physically, breathwork techniques increase the comfort of breathing in all bodily areas including the chest and navel and allowing the client to breath in deeper and longer, thus speeding up the detoxification process after about 90 minutes. Psychologically, breathing techniques help to restructure our belief systems by means of reprogramming and re-conditioning ourselves. Emotionally, the clients feel a sense of security and eventually authentic emotional responses such as bliss.

How Rebirthing Breathwork Works

Before a Rebirthing Breathwork session has begun, the client discusses their issues with the therapist, who is known as the Rebirther, for about 30 to 50 minutes. Typically a Rebirthing Breathwork session lasts about two and a half hours, and is done lying down. The conscious breathing that takes place must occur so that there are no pauses between inhaling and exhaling. Once a client has combined their conscious breath with body awareness and the use of intention, they have what is called Rebirthing Breathwork Mastery, or RBM, in that particular area. RBM works to resolve issues in the conscious mind by the use of conscious breath and cellular memory.

There are many defining points of RBM that are important to follow during breathwork. All through the breathing session, the client must place emphasis on their conscious breath as well as awareness of body sensation. As the clients are generating their own progress, there should also be a large focus on self-mastery. The client should understand that results are not immediate, and should therefore be aware of the process that is going on. A client will only be able to resolve their past events after feeling safe, supported, and ready after some amount of time. The focus during the entirety of the technique should of course be on the intention being applied.

Clients are generally instructed to begin their technique fully and subtly at first, breathing in and out until the nose closes. From there, the client experiences inspiration, clarity, and/or wisdom, allowing for these to take place gradually and doing their best not to intervene with these thoughts. After a time, the client should be able to identify what is going on with the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels of the breathing session, but should not try to interpret any meanings.

As the client focuses on the intention, he or she also needs to be aware of the safety. The client realizes that he or she cannot regress to anything that they have not already lived through. Any past events that come to surface in the mind should be because of the intention. Any strong symptoms the client may feel are affected by changing the intention.

These sessions should not have a particular agenda, as the breathing goes at the client’s pace. After the breathing cycle is completed, usually after 90 minutes, there is a short debriefing session with the Rebirther to discuss the content experienced, whether subtle or intense, and connect this with the intention.


Dowling, C, and Lawrance, A. Rebirthing and breathwork: A powerful technique for personal transformation. Piatkus, 2000.

Jennings, M. J. (2012). 'Physiological and Psychological Effects of Rebirthing Breathwork on Experienced Rebirthers: a pilot study' [unpublished] Available on: [Accessed on: 18.10.2012].

Lalande, L., Bambling, M., King, R., Lowe, R. (2012). 'Breathwork: An additional treatment option for depression and anxiety?' Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy. 42, (2). p113-119.

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